Florida shooting prompts local safety discussion

Published 5:35 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

Last week when news broke of a shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, just about everyone stopped what they were doing, flipped on a television and asked the same questions. Why would anyone do something like that?

In the days and weeks to come, authorities will be doing all they can to find out the answer to that question. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue political debates with friends, family members and co-workers until we’re all red in the face.

Those conversations are important, and it shows that at the end of the day, we all care about the future of this country and believe something needs to change. The one thing we can all agree is that we want children to be safe at school. The Troup County School System — and probably local private schools as well — has received calls from parents, wanting to know how the system would handle a similar situation.

At Thursday night’s Troup County Board of Education meeting, that exact issue was discussed. At many of the local schools, visitors have to be buzzed inside, and the remaining schools are expected to get similar security measures by the end of the summer. Student resource officers are stationed at the middle and high schools.

The school system made it clear this week that it’s evaluating its security measures to see if anything can be improved to ensure the safety of students.

Understandably, parents have a lot of questions, and because of that, it was great to hear an update on safety Thursday night. Board members had several questions about how parents would be alerted in a real emergency and how schools handle them. We’re sure parents had those same questions.

We hope the school system will continue this conversation about safety.  Whether it’s just a weekly safety post on social media or fliers that go home to parents, an ongoing safety conversation would likely alleviate a lot of parents concerns.